2022 State Victories for Gun Safety
We’re celebrating some massive wins for gun safety.
Throughout the 2022 session, state lawmakers and governors enacted at least 51 gun safety laws. But that’s not all: They also blocked 95% of the gun lobby’s agenda, including hundreds of attempts by the gun lobby to weaken gun laws.
These new gun safety laws include measures to prohibit high-capacity magazines, strengthen background checks, address the Charleston loophole, crack down on ghost guns, create police gun violence accountability, provide education on secure firearm storage, prohibit open carry and prohibit guns in sensitive locations like polling places, and more.
State legislatures also allocated over $860 million to gun violence prevention programs—a new record.
Tens of thousands of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers made this work possible through countless emails, phone calls, as well as in-person and virtual visits to their lawmakers to demand action.
“The gun safety movement is larger and stronger than ever and, as a result, we’re making historic progress not only in Congress, but in states across the country. In the wake of tragedy, our grassroots army of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers rolled up their red sleeves and got to work, helping pass innovative and life-saving laws across the country while continuing to beat back dangerous gun lobby-backed legislation that puts profits for gun manufacturers ahead of public safety.”Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action
States Enacted At Least 51 Gun Safety Laws
Several states took action following the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, and again after the Supreme Court struck down part of New York’s century-old gun permitting law, including New York, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
In New York, lawmakers passed a 10-bill package to, among other things, strengthen their Extreme Risk law and high capacity magazine prohibition, and raise the age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21.
California lawmakers prioritized gun safety throughout their year-long session. Before they adjourn for the year, they’re expected to pass at least a dozen gun safety laws.
“This year, state lawmakers once again set the pace on gun safety by passing dozens of common-sense measures to keep guns out of dangerous hands. In a time of rising gun violence, lawmakers made it clear that the days of the NRA treating statehouses like their personal clubhouses are over.”John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety
In 2022, states enacted gun safety bills to:
- Address the Charleston Loophole: Vermont
- Allocate Victim of Crime Act Dollars for Gun Violence Prevention: Indiana
- Establish a Commission on Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention: Connecticut
- Establish a Dealer Code of Conduct: New York, California
- Establish Training Requirements for Purchase Permits: New Jersey
- Hold the Gun Industry Accountable: Delaware, New Jersey, California
- Prohibit Assault Weapons: Delaware
- Prohibit Dangerous Accessories and/or Regulate Ammo: Delaware, New Jersey, New York
- Prohibit High-Capacity Magazines: Washington, Rhode Island, Delaware, New York (closed loophole to clarify that all previously-owned high capacity magazines are prohibited)
- Prohibit Open Carry and/or Regulate Guns in Sensitive Places, such as Polling Sites: Colorado, Washington, Rhode Island, New York
- Promote Microstamping: New York, New Jersey
- Promote Secure Storage Education: Illinois, California
- Provide Medicaid Coverage for Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs: Oregon, California
- Raise the Age for Long Gun Purchase: Rhode Island, New York, Delaware
- Reform Active Shooter Drills: Washington
- Regulate Ghost Guns: Washington, Maryland, Illinois, California
- Strengthen Ammo Regulation: New Jersey, New York
- Strengthen Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence: Vermont
Governors Took Action to Reduce State Gun Violence
Governors also took action to protect their states from gun violence by improving awareness and education about their Extreme Risk laws, allocating important federal funding to gun violence prevention, and calling on their legislatures and federal leaders to pass comprehensive gun safety legislation.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul
- Signed two executive orders.
- Proposed, championed, and signed a comprehensive package of 10 gun safety bills in response to the mass shooting in Buffalo.
- Immediately following the Supreme Court’s decision in the Bruen case, signed a bill to strengthen New York’s concealed carry permitting process.
“My top priority as governor is to keep New Yorkers safe. In the wake of a tragic national spike in gun violence and horrific mass shootings like the one that occurred in my hometown of Buffalo, New York took quick and decisive action this year to get illegal guns off our streets and away from individuals who would use them to do harm. New York is proud to lead the nation in passing common sense gun safety measures into law, and we’ll never stop fighting to protect public safety.”Kathy Hochul, New York Governor
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
- Signed seven comprehensive gun safety bills, six of which were part of his Gun Safety 3.0 package that he introduced to the legislature in April 2021 and worked to pass over the last year.
California Governor Gavin Newsom
- Championed and signed over a dozen critical gun safety bills, with more bills to come, including a bill to require schools to send home information about secure firearm storage.
- The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services announced $11 million in new community partnerships to expand outreach and education on the use of Gun Violence Restraining Orders—also known as Extreme Risk or red flag laws—to families, schools, and communities most at risk for gun violence.
Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee
- Championed and signed three important gun safety bills that would prohibit high capacity magazines, prohibit the open carry of rifles and shotguns in public, and raise the minimum age to purchase rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
- Issued an executive order to help improve implementation of New Mexico’s Extreme Risk law and address gun violence across the state.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
- Issued an executive order to address gun violence in Michigan.
- Helped implement the recently passed Bipartisan Safer Communities Act by helping maximize federal funding provided by the new law, improve data reporting to federal background check databases, and establish a new Community Violence Intervention Office.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont
- Joined lawmakers and gun violence survivors in Washington, D.C. to call on federal lawmakers to take action on gun safety.
State Legislatures Invested Over $860 Million in Violence Intervention Programs
State legislatures from across the country allocated a record investment of over $860 million for gun violence intervention and prevention programs (VIPs). These community-based programs are shown to reduce gun violence, but have often relied on scarce competitive grant funding, private donations, and limited city funding. This record investment will help them continue to do life-saving work, and will provide vital support at a time when they’re stretched thin.
“The call to action was clear: Do something. And, once again, our state leaders answered. State policymakers have shown what’s possible when our leaders ignore gun lobby rhetoric and prioritize public safety—including smart, holistic approaches to gun violence prevention, investment in effective programs, and the resounding rejection of gun lobby efforts to weaken our gun laws.”Monisha Henley, Senior Director of State Government Affairs, Everytown for Gun Safety
The following states allocated funding toward gun violence prevention, including for life-saving VIPs (for a total of $868.95 million):
- California: $156 million for community violence intervention grants through CALVIP
- Connecticut: $3.4 million for gun violence prevention programming, including for violence intervention programs (VIPs)
- Indiana: Expanded access to supportive funds for victims (VOCA) and their family members who have experienced violent crime
- Massachusetts: $94 million in gun violence prevention funding
- Michigan: $1 million for school safety grants
- New Jersey: $8.2 million for VIPs for the next year
- New Mexico: $9 million for VIPs
- New York: $223.5 million for gun violence prevention programming, including for VIPs
- Oregon: $43.25 million for VIPs for the next year (includes CVI grants, funding for victims to make up for VOCA shortfall and for implementation of Medicaid for HVIPs)
- Pennsylvania: $5 million for VIPs
- South Carolina: $200,000 for a Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program within the South Carolina Department of Public Health and Environmental Control
- Tennessee: $100 million for the creation of a Violent Crime Intervention Fund. The funding will be available to law enforcement agencies across the state to invest in evidence-based programming and resources, including Community Violence Intervention Programs
- Washington: $15 million directly for VIPs, in addition to another $200 million for broad community reinvestment spending, including for VIPs
- Virginia: $13 million for violence intervention efforts
- Washington, D.C.: Over $95 million for various VIP campaigns across the district
States Rejected the Gun Lobby’s Extreme Agenda
Across the country, states rejected dozens of gun lobby-aligned bills that would have weakened gun laws. The advocacy of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, gun violence survivors, and gun sense candidates urging lawmakers to support constituents and law enforcement helped make this victory possible.
In states like Nebraska and Louisiana, advocates succeeded in holding off efforts to pass permitless carry. Meanwhile, in the gun lobby strongholds of Missouri and Arizona, legislative sessions ended without lawmakers passing a single gun lobby priority.
States that defeated gun lobby bills:
- Alaska: Defeated a punitive preemption bill that could have prevented local officials from addressing gun safety during disaster emergencies
- Arizona: Defeated six dangerous bills including measures to allow guns on campuses and public spaces, expand Shoot First protections, attempt to nullify federal gun laws, bring loaded guns in school parking lots, and put the NRA’s dangerous Eddie the Eagle firearm training program in schools
- Colorado: Defeated permitless carry, guns in schools, and Shoot First in businesses
- Florida: Defeated permitless carry
- Hawaii: Defeated Shoot First bill
- Idaho: Defeated Shoot First and punitive preemption bills and a measure to legalize private militias
- Indiana: Defeated a bill to expand the state’s Shoot First law
- Iowa: Defeated a bill to nullify federal gun laws, a bill to force guns into parking lots, and a bill to roll back the requirement that firearms be secured safely in cars
- Kansas: Defeated a bill to put the NRA’s dangerous Eddie the Eagle firearm training program in schools
- Louisiana: Defeated five dangerous bills, including legislation allowing permitless carry, arming teachers, expanding Shoot First, protecting the firearms industry, and nullifying federal gun laws
- Mississippi: Defeated preemption expansion and bill to nullify federal gun laws
- Missouri: Defeated four bills to expand Missouri’s Shoot First law, a guns everywhere bill, and a bill to expand the use of armed school resource officers in schools
- Nebraska: Defeated permitless carry
- New Hampshire: Defeated Shoot First expansion and punitive preemption, including guns in schools and guns on campus
- North Carolina: Held off veto override of background check repeal
- Oklahoma: Defeated dozens of bills, including legislation expanding Shoot First, arming teachers, allowing the nullification of federal gun laws, and protecting the firearms industry
- South Carolina: Defeated permitless carry and a bill to nullify federal gun laws
- South Dakota: Defeated a series of bills to nullify federal gun laws, and an anti-free market bill that would have tied banks’ hands
- Tennessee: Defeated multiple anti-gun violence prevention bills, including legislation to lower the age requirement for carrying a concealed, loaded handgun in public from 21 to 18
- Virginia: Defeated various attempts from the gun lobby to repeal the progress made in the 2020 legislative session including that state’s extreme risk law and the law allowing localities to restrict carrying weapons in sensitive places
- West Virginia: Defeated an attempt to arm teachers
- Wyoming: Defeated bills to nullify federal gun laws
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